June Newsletter

News from Hangar Flight Museum

Message from the Executive Director

Brian Desjardins

Summer has officially arrived and our busiest time of the season is upon us. We have continued to build on brand awareness through exciting marketing activities and media relations. As a result, visitation numbers this spring have been growing. We look forward to seeing even more visitors this summer than ever before.

A Request for Proposal was completed for the CF-100 Canuck restoration project. Moving forward on this exciting development, we are seeking qualified businesses to professionally restore this amazing aircraft to full static display. We have been successful in our own fundraising with the support of the City of Calgary. Thank you to all of the donors (local and nationwide) who contributed. I am especially impressed with the aviation community members who recognize the importance of this aircraft. It is estimated that it will take three years to restore. 

We have made great progress on the reorganization of our collections area. Our Collections Manager has done a wonderful job of coordinating this effort. We have three summer students who have been working hard to organize and document the countless number of artifacts that have been donated over the years. It is our goal to have the west side of the mezzanine reopened to visitors by the fall.

A visitor's first impression to any attraction is crucial. Making a great first impression and experience will influence the number of repeat and new visitors. That is why we have been putting extra effort to beautify our green space and refresh our guest services and gift shop area. We are also revisiting all of our exhibits and developing a plan to make them more interactive and provide a better overall experience to the Museum. We continue to work with the City of Calgary and Calgary Airport Authority on future plans to replace the tent hangar and complete land-use planning. 

We recently hosted our annual volunteer barbecue with over 80 people attending. Staff did a great job planning this very special evening and I thank them for all of their hard work. Volunteers are dedicated to bettering the Museum and our success relies heavily on them. They are our greatest resource. On behalf of the Board of Directors, and staff, I would like to thank them again for their passion and commitment. 

Recently, I was also able to enjoy meeting Tom Grow. Tom is the son of Harold B. Grow who co-designed and built the Barkley Grow. He drove all the way up from Pensacola, Florida with his wife Frances to see his father's aircraft that is on display. It was truly an emotional moment for him (for all of us) as he climbed into the cockpit for the very first time! He is also visiting our Barkley Grow (Yukon Queen) that is on loan to the Alberta Aviation Museum in Edmonton, and a third aircraft in storage at Reynolds in Wetaskiwin. Only 11 were built and Alberta has the only 3 remaining in the world! 

I have also been researching the designation of our Museum; in particular the main hangar, as a Provincial Historic Resource and a Municipal Historic Resource. The main hangar was built in 1941 as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. I believe that with historic resources designation(s) it will further promote awareness of our Museum and support grant applications.

Have a spectacular summer and come see us at The Hangar Flight Museum!

Brian Desjardins
Executive Director






Open Plane Days



Join us for the third year of Now Boarding - Open Aircraft Days! This year we will be running this program that gets you behind the scenes and into our aircraft on Saturdays, Sundays, and holiday Mondays beginning on June 22nd and ending on September 2nd. 

The next few dates you can look forward to are:
Saturday June 29: Avro Lancaster
Sunday June 30:DC-3
Monday July 1: Beechcraft
Saturday July 6: Avro Lancaster
Sunday July 7: Twin Otter





New Exhibit

Freddie McCall and Willie McKnight

Our museum is located at the corner of McCall Way and McKnight Blvd, but did you know that these streets are named after local pilots from the First and Second World Wars? This new exhibit is very timely as July 5th marks the 100th anniversary of Freddie McCall landing his airplane safely on top of the Stampede carousel in an emergency landing! On July 5th we are offering a buy one admission get one admission free to celebrate the anniversary. 



Our summer students were a big help to Cassandra (Collections Manager) during the installation process of this new exhibit. It was a great learning experience and many hands certainly makes the process easier. 






Canada Historic Places Day

Saturday July 6, 2019

Join us on Historic Places Day to learn more about the building the Museum calls home! 

It's easy to enter to win $1,000 for yourself and $1,000 for the site you're visiting with this year's selfie contest. 





Father's Day Recap

Another amazing year

First of all, we must say a huge thank you to our volunteers and to the exhibitors who attended this year's event and helped us make it a success! This year we had over 1700 visitors join us on Father's Day weekend. We also had over 90 vehicles in attendance across the two days. 



It is hard to choose a favourite vehicle when so many unique cars and motorcycles join our event! 





Volunteer Highlight

Mike Brandon

This month’s volunteer spotlight is Mike Brandon. We chatted with Mike about his career, his reasons for volunteering at The Hangar Flight Museum, and why he continues to donate his time to the museum. 

Before his tenure at the Museum, Mike worked as an air traffic controller at the Calgary Airport from 1969 until 1995. In addition to his 25 years of experience in air traffic control, Mike also worked as a light twin aircraft pilot and instructor. Now that he is retired, Mike volunteers with a number of different organizations including Calgary Airport’s White Hat Society, the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, and the Calgary Food Bank. Clearly an altruistic kind of guy.

With his extensive history in the field of aviation, it’s no surprise that Mike ended up hearing about the volunteer opportunity at The Hangar Flight Museum. It was actually his long-time friend museum volunteer Don Ross who initially suggested that Mike begin volunteering here. We owe you one, Don! Mike’s knowledge of aviation has made him a natural fit, and a welcome member of the Museum’s volunteer community. He can often be seen on Saturday mornings greeting visitors to the Museum with fellow volunteer Louise Ingram.

Mike continues to volunteer at the Museum because he enjoys teaching visitors about Calgary’s aviation history, as well as learning new things from our more knowledgeable visitors. He enjoys having the chance to meet interesting new people, and spend time with friends, both old and new.





Collections Corner: So, What Does a Collections Manager Do?

Cassandra Cummings

It has been a great, though very busy, first three months as Collections Manager at The Hangar Flight Museum! There is a lot to learn, and a lot to do. But what does a collections manager do anyway?

Very simply, I am responsible for all of the collection at the museum. This includes aircraft, uniforms, memorabilia, books, photographs, artworks, and everything else you see (and don’t see) in the museum that is a historical artifact. In some senses, this also includes the building- an original BCATP hangar from 1941.

That means that I am the person who collects and looks after these objects and records, including cataloguing, storing, research, and display. I also keep up various paperwork and records, including loan information. A lot happens behind the scenes.



Right now we are sorting through a bit of a backlog, and ensuring that our collections meet our mission, vision and mandate, and are generally focused on western Canadian aviation, and Calgary’s story in particular. I am making sure that our database is updated and that everything is stored properly, according to museum standards. Making sure that these historical objects are preserved as long as possible so that we can continue to share our stories into the future is essential. I also assess potential donations and acquire new objects and records that might be missing which can help us tell these stories.

In between working behind the scenes with our collections objects, I am also working on exhibitions, research, specific projects like Historic Calgary Week, and answering donation and research inquiries. I also look at things like light and humidity levels, exhibit cases, and UV film! Recently, we installed a new exhibit about Fred McCall and Willie McKnight, and I have been thinking about future exhibits too. There is always a lot happening at The Hangar, which makes every day interesting!

Do you have a question about what a collections manager does? Or do you think you have an object that might find a good home in The Hangar Flight Museum? Please let me know by sending an email to  If this is about an object or potential donation, please include a brief description and history and a photo or two if possible. I would love to hear from you!

Please note that any potential donations should be related to western Canadian aviation, and Calgary if at all possible. At this time we are also unable to accept donations of books, magazines, or models, as we do already have an extensive collection of these items.





Great Canadian Giving Challenge

Ends June 30

There are a few days left to help us win $10,000. Every donation of $3 or more online during the month of June enters us into the contest to win $10,000 from Canada Helps. Your support means we can continue to inspire dreams of flight! 





403-250-3752 - 4629 McCall Way NE Calgary, AB T2E 8A5